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Both my grandmothers left this Earth for a better place quite some time ago.
I think about them a lot, but even more so lately.
I have many fond memories of time spent with Grandma, but the most precious of all took place before most kids were out of bed Easter Sunday morning. My alarm clock rang before the first sign of light appeared in the eastern sky. Grandma and one - or all -of us would get dressed and head to the field with a bucket. There was a creek in the field behind the house and that was where we collected the magical Easter water. It had to be taken from the spring at sunrise. Grandma called it Easter Water or eau de Paques in French.
While the tradition varies slightly among families, a common premise is that, to be its most powerful, Easter water had to collected just before dawn from running water – a spring, a stream or a river – and never from standing water in a well or a lake. It’s something our family did every Easter but we weren’t the only ones; it was an extremely popular rite in parts of Quebec and New Brunswick.
The tradition of gathering and using Easter water stems from the importance that water has always held in the Christian faith, most notably as a symbol of baptism and the resurrection. While the tradition varied among different cultures, water collected from the proper sources on Easter morning was believed to possess the power to heal.
Grandma had an unshakable faith in the protective powers of Easter water, which she kept year-round for special occasions. The jug of Easter water was also close by when a big thunderstorm rolled in. At the first crack of thunder, Grandma would sprinkle Easter water in all the windows.
Did that water have healing or protective powers? I don’t know for sure, but that’s not the point. It was a beautiful tradition that brought our family together.
Tomorrow is Easter. I don’t suppose many of you will be going to a creek in the back 40, but there will be eggs everywhere. The Easter egg hunt is another lovely tradition. The egg has long-been associated with festivals celebrating spring. Aside from being quite tasty, the egg is an ancient symbol of new life.
the crisis that has gripped our world, perhaps the Easter egg represents something even more powerful: rebirth, hope and a new beginning.
believe it’s time to bring back some those beautiful family traditions, hug the people we can, remember those we’ve lost and do our best to live life to its fullest. nstead of being thankful for what we have, let’s be thankful for who we have.
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network